Steps to Creating a Request for Proposal

 

In order to ensure you are able to find the right partner to manage your organization, it is critical that your organization prepares a detailed yet straightforward Request for Proposal (RFP). Follow these steps in order to develop a document that will enable your organization and any potential management partners to understand your needs:

  1. Assess Your Organization – Consider where the organization has been, where it is going, the needs of your members, and where they see themselves in their industry or profession. A self-auditing process helps to determine core member services and areas that need enhancement.

     

  2. Develop a “Needs” List versus a “Wants” List – By considering the requirements and desires, your organization will be able to formulate its Scope of Services section of the RFP. Keep in mind that association management companies provide a wealth of association management experience through proven best practices and shared resources. Because they manage more than one association, their skills and knowledge base are broad and substantial in comparison to a standalone staff or an organization’s volunteer base.

     

  3. Begin Creating Your RFP as an Electronic Document – Include the following information. Feel free to add additional information if it is relevant to the operations of your organization.
    • History of organization (age, incorporation date and location)
    • Mission Statement
    • Strategic Plan/Goals and Objectives
    • Leadership Organization Chart (Board and Committee Structure)
    • Number of Board and Committee Meetings (In Person, Webinar,Conference Calls)
    • Number of Conferences/Year (Current and Future Dates and Locations)
    • Unique Programs (Example: Certification Programs, Special Interest Groups, Legislative Activity)
    • Audit Report and Past Three Year’s Financial Statements
    • Annual Budget
    • Membership Reports/Numbers (Recent and Past)
    • Bylaws
    • Articles of Incorporation
    • Most recent Form 990
    • IRS Application Form and Letter of Determination
    • Copies of Publications (E-newsletters, Magazines, Journals, Directories)
    • Copy of Conference Brochures
    • Copy of Marketing Materials
    • Calendar of Scheduled Events (Current and Future)
    • Scope of Services
    • Instructions to Submit Proposal
    • Selection Committee Chair’s Contact Information
    • Dates: Deadlines, Presentation Dates, Selection Timeline, Hiring Date
  4. Distribute RFP – Allow a minimum of 30 – 45 days from the date of RFP distribution for the Proposal Due Date. This will allow prospective management partners time to conduct their due diligence and determine if they are a good fit for your organization.